Thursday, September 19, 2013

Do You Know What This Means?

Yes?  Well that makes you at least that much more PC savvy than some of my coworkers.

Last week I was at a meeting where attendees are often required to look at online content during the course of business.  I got there on time and plugged my machine into the brand spanking new power grommet in the center of our conference table.  Once I started up I got the lovely update screen and remembered that the computer had downloaded a bunch of updates when I shut down the night before.

All of which is fine.

Fine until one of my esteemed colleagues decided that they were also going to plug into the same power grommet and that their plug wouldn't fit with mine plugged in.  And so with a concurrent "I have to unplug you" my power was cut.

See how above part of the instruction is not to unplug?  Turns out they mean it.  My machine immediately executed a shut down and when I tried to restart it would dump into a DOS screen.

Thanks for that.

The cocked up OS meant I had no working machine, which in this particular case meant I had no Teacher's Machine for the next day's CAD class which I wound up cancelling.  But I didn't cancel until I had maybe 3 hours into trouble shooting the thing.  It seemed like after a while that booting in safe mode and then going back to a restore point would do the trick.

Unfortunately it wasn't the trick I was hoping for.  For a minute it looked like it worked, but then after windows did successfully boot the machine dumped into a Blue Screen of Despair.  That was the moment I decided I was going home and that class wasn't going to happen.

The next day with the help of our IT guy we figured out what the new problem was, and with some fairly good troubleshooting found the correct procedure to repair things.  We had to re-register part of Windows and then change the boot mode to delete the virus software.  That took around half a day to accomplish.

I learned not to unplug things without asking first when I was in high school.  I unplugged a bass players amp without telling him.  He gave me a proper chewing out and I haven't forgotten.  Someone ought to chew out my colleague.

So do your friends a favor.  If you need to unplug their computer, give them a few seconds heads-up first - and maybe glance at their screen in case there are crystal clear and totally unambiguous instructions to follow.

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